Roosters v Broncos: Five key points
The Roosters snapped a six-game losing streak with a 32-16 win over the Broncos on Thursday night to put a serious dent in Brisbane's top-four aspirations. Dale Copley was the star against his former side, bagging a double in the 16-point win that consigns the Broncos to their seventh loss in their past nine starts.
Momentum the key for struggling Broncos
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett refused to panic despite his side losing for the second straight week.
It's a similar position to what the Broncos of a decade ago found themselves in, with Bennett's men dropping five games in a row in 2006 before recovering to win the premiership.
"Finals series are about momentum," Bennett said.
"We've still got five games to go, so if we can get some momentum in the next two to three weeks…Melbourne showed that last year. They were struggling coming in with about three or four games to go. All of a sudden they got some momentum and they beat us in Brisbane and they came and beat the Roosters in the first playoff game."
Broncos skipper Corey Parker agreed.
"There are five weeks to go," he said. "You hear a week's a long time in footy; five weeks are even longer. We're still in control of what we're doing."
Boyd Cordner is the best backrower in the game
There were reports after Origin I that Boyd Cordner would miss the rest of the season with a foot injury.
Not only has he returned ahead of schedule, but the NSW Blues backrower is arguably in career best form.
Cordner has averaged roughly 155 metres per game in his four matches back from injury, and produced close to his best 80 minutes of 2016 with a try and 184 metres against the Broncos on Thursday night.
"Boyd's all class and every one of his touches is a big play," Roosters skipper Jake Friend said.
"He pops up when we're doing it tough and sort of gets us on the front foot.
"You know you've got your middles, but you've always got Boyd on that edge calling for it nearly every play, yelling at you if you don't give it to him."
Bunker ruling divides opinion
The decision to not award a try to Broncos forward Herman Ese'ese late in the game was one of the biggest talking points on social media after the live ruling of try was overturned by the bunker due to a perceived double movement.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett, and skipper Corey Parker, didn't want to focus on the decision in the post-match press conference, but it was clear they didn’t agree with the call.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson had a different view.
"I thought his arm touched the ground, and I thought he could have rolled over, but as soon as he extended it out I thought it was a no try. I thought he had momentum…but reaching out cost him."
Blake Ferguson making the most of his second shot at the back
His initial stint at fullback lasted just one week, but Blake Ferguson has made the most of his second opportunity in the Roosters' No.1 jersey, scoring a try and setting up two more against the Broncos.
Ferguson showed off his ball-playing ability with a double pump to send Dale Copley over inside five minutes, and backed up the left centre later in the first half to score a classic fullback's try in a game that saw him run for 156 metres.
But it was his freakish part in Shaun Kenny Dowall's try that topped the lot. Following some broken play on the last tackle, Ferguson rose to claim a speculative second kick, and despite the attention of Anthony Milford, somehow managed to stay in despite landing millimetres away from the sideline.
As he was being bundled into touch, Ferguson released an offload back to Kenny-Dowall who scored the crucial opening try of the second half to help the Roosters claim their first win since Round 13.
Dale Copley haunts former club
Playing against his former side for the first time, Roosters centre Dale Copley had the last laugh with a two-try haul in what was easily his best game of 2016.
Having debuted for the Broncos in 2009, Copley was released to make room in the salary cap for James Roberts, and it was fitting that the two would square off on Thursday.
Copley easily won their head-to-head battle, scoring a try in each half and setting up another one for Blake Ferguson, while he also kept Roberts quiet with some stinging shots in defence.
It was a pleasing sight for Roosters fans after the new recruit missed most of the first half of the season with a pectoral injury.